May 28, 2013

NIZ & Arena Hype

Although the children selected for the arena training program won't be turned into donkeys, and made into slaves, there probably won't be any  NIZ jobs in their future. The 20 kids getting the vocational training camp scholarship are currently between 5th and 8th grade. While The Morning Call article regurgitates the Administration's propaganda that the arena zone will bring thousands of jobs and half a million visitors annually to Allentown, if there is any bloom left on that rose in four years, remains to be seen. For the 5th graders, I'm afraid the arena will already be closed by the time they graduate. If one of those children should happen to be a future engineer, he or she might find the current construction interesting. The undersized steel and prefab concrete panels along Linden Street are being supported by the diagonal braces, which in turn will frame the bleachers for hockey fans. Someone in the trades described it as a lesson in quick and cheap construction. Although I support vocational training, and applaud the Trades Council for their funding ($3,000), lets not get excited and call this Community Benefit. We have a few developers, building a few buildings for a few businesses, with a total few hundred employees. All this is being funded by state taxes. It is the nature of the politicians and developers to overstate the public benefit, but it shouldn't be the nature of the newspaper to amplify that hype.

UPDATE:  Sometimes I'm too nice, such is the case above.  In reality,  18 trade unions, although working on $600 million in construction, contributed a total of $3,000,  or $166 dollars  each.  For this paltry amount, the article states that  the deal was brokered by Pawlowski and Jeff Glazier of the School District Foundation.  Brokered by Pawlowski,  puffed by The Morning Call.  I don't fault the trade unions, I fault the newspaper,  for finding every press release by the city newsworthy.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't the life-skills of selling hot dogs, peanuts and beer count?

After all, they're portable and you can work year-round given the seasons the major sports play in.

Anonymous said...

When I grow up and become a successful minor league professional hockey team owner ...

... I hope I am skilled enough to get the Government to give ME a record-smashing $ 177.1 million dollar Palace of Sport for my players.

God bless Mayor Pawlowski and his hard-working City Council.

FUTURE DOWNTOWN DOOFUS

Anonymous said...

Over the weekend wfmz/69 was also in on the kings propaganda, but this editorial peice was about the sale of the land also in hanover township¿ Now one just might wonder how has Allentowns king get in on this as a realestate agent¿
redd

Anonymous said...

What? Now your bitching and moaning just cause the construction is a little on the chinsey side?
What ya' expect? Yankee Stadium?
Some guys are never satisfied. Scheeze...

Bethlehem Native said...

I keep thinking of the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA. The AHL team flopped as a draw. Eventually professional hockey moved away. The arena never brought in any sort of development. The city eventually transferred the arena to UMass-Lowell. Allentown doesn't have a large public university to save them from their white elephant.

Anonymous said...

The Tsongas arena is no way comparable.... Lowell MSA is 250,000. The LV is 820,000.... also that arena is about 3/4ths the size of what is being built here...

Anonymous said...

LV almost a million people ???????

Bernie O'Hare said...

MM, I am forced to agree with this criticism.

First, I don't think a $3,000 donation is newsworthy or even all that blogworthy.

Second, I am baffled to read the LCCC claim that trade union jobs are in demand. During the NIZ controversy, these trade union guys appeared at several township meetings, urging municipal leaders to drop a lawsuit over the NIZ. At that time, one of their complaints was that most of them are out of work and suffering. They were quite convincing and I believed them.

Finally, I am disturbed that Glazier, who has no actual educational credentials, would think that it's a good idea to expose a 5th grader to a career as a bricklayer or as a painter. While these are noble occupations ,most 5th graders I know have more lofty expectations. I think that telling them to get involved in a trade is akin to telling our disadvantaged that they need to know their place.

Anonymous said...

@2:42, the history of failed arenas and stadiums with no development includes cities in "MSAs" the same size as Allentown or larger. Stockton, CA? St. Louis, MO? The list goes on and on...

Anonymous said...

Is there something demeaning about the trades BOH?

michael molovinsky said...

@1:15, do you think that those intercity kids might dare dream to become the architect or engineer?

Anonymous said...

I think engineers, architects, brick layers, carpenters, and other tradesmen, are all noble and worthwhile occupations sir.

michael molovinsky said...

@2:30, of course they are, and better yet, it gave you an opening to criticize a valid point o'hare raised. people know that o'hare isn't an elitist, the question is what are you?

Anonymous said...

MM, an associate and I attended a LV Chamber event a month ago and explained to some of the key people in the project that many who live less than a block away have no clue what is going on with the arena or any of the projects. We keep hearing about opportunities/benefits but no one literally knows of any...
The person I spoke to stated they put all of the information into the Morning Call and I told them candidly, no one really reads it anymore and not everyone has the internet, computer access, or is willing to come to their office for meetings. This person did tell me there would be plenty of employment for those in the inner-city and my associate, and I became excited, because THIS Is the information we were hoping to take back to the community. The person went on to say that there would be a need for security guards, waiters, dishwashers, etc and I guess we kind of looked at them with a blank stare. My associate, Darnell, was the first to speak and stated, " We have 3 degrees between the 2 of us and we wanted to know what type of law practices, accounting firms, marketing companies, etc would be available and hiring because there are alot of inner city adults and young people who do have degrees and certifications, believe it or not and are looking for professional opportunities. Of course there was alot of back pedaling and apologies made, but in the end, it truly showed how many people view the Center City Allentown residents... There isnothing wrong with blue collor o trade jobs but please offer young people other options also and don't limit their abilities with pre-conceived notions and stereotypes.....


Alfonso Todd

www.prolifickprofiles.blogspot.com